Design-Build Project with Kansas City, MO Creates Safe Path for Local KidsPosted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 by Linda Rottinghaus
In Stormwater, Transportation Engineering, tagged in
Residents in Kansas City, Missouri were concerned about their children’s safety, as they walked to school. The sidewalk along Holmes was not complete, and in many cases, it was bordered by a deep storm drainage ditch. Residents; Jolie Justus, a council member; and Crestivew Elementary School worked together to secure funding for the project.
Musselman & Hall was selected as the contractor, and our team acted as a sub-contractor on this design-build effort. The plan was to add sidewalk on the eastside of Holmes, beginning at the school and connecting it all the way to the existing sidewalk. To the west, we were tasked with installing sidewalk from 42nd Street to 45th Terrace. These improvements would create a continuous path for pedestrians.
In addition to these enhancements, we added curb, as well as an enclosed storm sewer system. The original plan was to add Nyloplast grates in an improved ditch. However, the city decided to move forward with an alternate design, which included storm inlets, curb, and an enclosed system. This strategy removed the ditch completely, improving safety for pedestrians.
For this effort, we worked with a number of stakeholders: the City of Kansas City, Missouri; Crestview Elementary School; and local residents. The area has a diverse population, so it was important to share project plans in a number of ways. We partnered with Parsons + Associates who developed a public relations plan that communicated in multiple languages. We held two public meetings and worked directly with the school to ensure new traffic patterns were clear.
Working closely with Crestview Elementary School helped us keep traffic moving even during construction. A year-round school, we teamed with administrative staff to develop the schedule. We placed the bulk of construction during their longer breaks in the summer. However, when work needed to occur while school was open, we used traffic control measures to avoid congestion. Allowing parents to have access throughout was important to the entire team. For example, we kept one, northbound lane open at all times. This meant they could still use their typical path for drop-off and pick-up.
The existing site came with a number of size constraints. The city wanted to keep the road within the existing right-of-way and maintain 10-foot lanes in both directions. We were able to reduce the total width by a foot or two. As a result, we could pull in the curb and provide enough room for the sidewalks.
Drainage was another design challenge. The site collected a lot of water, and there wasn’t an existing storm sewer system to cover the entire area. One existing storm sewer drain was located at a low spot on 42nd Street. In a rain event, it would get inundated with water. With this project, we were able to add extra inlets upstream. They now gather water before it ponds on 42nd Street.
With the improvements on Holmes, the City of Kansas City, Missouri was able to provide safe passage for local students. By enclosing the storm sewer ditch and adding continuous sidewalks, the area is now easier to traverse for all pedestrians.